Four UK schools will take part in an experiment this September in an attempt to get students to learn via computer games.
The preliminary study, called 'Teaching with Games', is being carried out by NESTA Futurelab, an organisation dedicated to researching, developing and evaluating new technologies for learning.
Sponsored by games manufacturer Electronic Arts, the research will look at how children use games and how they could be altered to teach pupils more effectively.
"There has been a lot of interest in using computer games for learning, but no one has really investigated what young people might be able to learn from games and how they might best be introduced in schools," said Annika Small, managing director at NESTA Futurelab.
"We propose to do this by working closely with teachers and students to design new support materials for use with commercial games.
"This way we will begin to produce a road map for educators across Europe and go some way to being able to help game developers understand how they could produce games that are well received in the educational market."
The project is lottery funded and the results are expected next year. The tests will be conducted at three secondary schools and a German school based in London.
"We know that games offer plenty of intellectual challenge and stimulation," said Claus Due, market development manager for Electronic Arts Europe.
"We believe that this project will lead the way in recognising what games developers and educators must do to ensure that gaming in education supports both the teaching and learning goals of today and tomorrow."
Games have been used before for teaching, particularly the Sims series. Online teaching guides are available to explain how such games are used most effectively.
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